Understanding the Large Hadron Collider (through rap)

May 5, 2009

If you’d like to understand just what exactly those CERN physicists are planning with the Large Hadron Collider but are having trouble making sense of it, this wonderful 5 minute Large Hadron Rap by Alpinekat will explain it to you with a funky beat. Long live geek rap!

I came across this in the comments of a post on Bad Astronomy about a great segment on the Daily Show about the LHC and the nutjob who is claiming it could cause a black hole (the man actually claims there is a 50/50 chance of a black hole forming because it will either happen or it won’t).

What a fun weekend

May 5, 2009

I have had a really awesome fun weekend.
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Creationism Vs Evolution in the US

March 6, 2008

I’ve just watched a really fantastic documentary called Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial about a court case in the US where a bunch of parents took their local school board to court for trying to force the intelligent design theory to be taught in biology classes. Luckily, the parents won. There were two points they had to prove: 1. intelligent design is not a scientific theory; and 2. the school board were motivated by religion or trying to promote religion. The judge found both of these to be the case. The program (which can be easily watched off the PBS website) covers the trial and the scientific theories that are covered and explained in the trial. It was really interesting to hear about Darwin‘s theory of evolution and its position in modern-day science, its attack from religious fundamentalists in the US and the history of the teaching of evolution in the US.

I heard about this show from the podcast The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe (currently my favourite podcast).

Fantasy films and sci-fi TV and fantasy and sci-fi books.

October 15, 2007

Always a sucker for a bargain, I just bought a 3-film DVD set from Amazon of the Labyrinth, the Dark Crystal and Mirrormask. It was only £4.97 and about £1.30 for postage. The Dark Crystal and the Labyrinth are legendary 1980s fantasy films with Jim Henson creations. And Mirrormask was written by my favourite author Neil Gaiman, and Dave McKean, who he regularly collaborates with.
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More Gilbert and George

May 9, 2007

Planed by Gilbert and George
Last night Paul and I watched a BBC episode of Imagine about Gilbert and George. It was quite interesting. And Gilbert and George had done an artwork especially for the BBC that you can download from the show’s website but only until 48 hours after the television show ended (last night at 11.30, greenwich mean time). You can download and print out 9 pages and then assemble them to look like the above picture.

reactionary moralising?

May 3, 2007

This morning I read on the (Australian) Channel Nine news website that Australian Big Brother were going to have an exercise where the participants had to look after toy dolls as if they were real babies. The television program is not going to have the exercise after one of the participants became upset and said she suffered a miscarriage 18 months ago (Big Brother’s toy babies upsets Democrats).

According to Channel Nine, the Australian Democrats want the government to take action against Network Ten (the makers of Australian Big Brother).
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Cool architecture

April 18, 2007

Paul and I have recently watched a couple of interesting architecture programs. One was about the Casa Mila by Antoni Gaudi and the second was about the Johnson Wax Headquarters by Frank Lloyd Wright. Paul is really interested in Architecture and I think I could be too. I quite like looking at interesting buildings and Paul has some great plans for a house he would like to build one day. I’m excited about being involved in that process.

Everybody dance now, lost cities and bloody Adbusters!

April 18, 2007

I have had the sorest legs since Monday when I went to the gym with Paul. We worked on our legs (doing stretches and weights) and I did a heap of lunges that really worked my poor leg muscles! I made sure I went for a little walk up to the shops yesterday to get my legs moving but it sure hurt (especially going down stairs and there are four stairs in our flat so every time I go down to the lounge and kitchen it HURTS). I had planned on going to the gym today and I should go and at least do something – my membership problems have been sorted so they shouldn’t stop me going in!
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The IT Crowd

March 31, 2007

The IT Crowd follows the adventures of the IT Department of a large company. Here we see characters Jen, Moss and Roy in their office, way down in the basement.

Last night, my flatmate Will and I travelled out to Pinewood studios to watch a recording of the Channel 4 TV show the IT Crowd. I gave Paul a DVD of the first series for Christmas. Now they’re filming the second series. Paul couldn’t come because his team from work went to see (the musical) Avenue Q.
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Celebrity Big Brother

January 18, 2007

Some background on what I am discussing:

Anger over Big Brother racism

Viewers jump to Shilpa’s defence

Blair and Brown dragged into TV racism row

Jade Goody Vs Shilpa Shetty

Well I just watched Celebrity Big Brother (in the UK), probably along with the other many thousands who have lately tuned in due to the racism allegations. Well, it was interesting to see the housemate Jade Goodie (a celebrity due to her involvement in an earlier Big Brother) going off (yelling, screaming, arguing) with the Indian Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty. They started to have an argument about the grocery shopping and food – I guess typical fare for people stuck in the same house 24-hours-a-day – but it ended in a tyrade from Jade directed at Shilpa for various reasons. It has been painted as racism and there have been thousands of complaints made – to politicians, to Channel 4 who air the program, and to the UK media watchdog. But I think that this has a lot to do with class as well as race. Jade’s posse, former beauty queen Danielle Lloyd and ex-S Club 7 member Jo O’Meara, did a lot of sitting there, laughing along at Jade’s embarassing tyrade, as well as saying stupid – and offensive – things, like ‘she can’t even speak English properly’, when in fact her English is probably better than theirs. I think there is a mixture of feminine competition and racism, but tonight, it really looked a lot like Jade’s class background and her insecurity about it and all her assumptions about Shilpa, who she sees as posh and different, were coming out in her tyrade of embarassing arguments and chants of ‘you’re a liar’, ‘you’re a fake’.

I really hope that the public debate here encapsulates the class issues as well as the racism, but I’m not sure how likely that is here in the UK with its heavily entrenched class system.

Sometimes I think that maybe I shouldn’t have come here when I have so many issues about classism (and my own background). It seems that people here in the UK seem to accept the class structure as somehow normal, not something socially-constructed that can be removed.